Friday, September 30, 2011

Taking his time ...

... Secrets of growing slowly | TLS.

The authentic Rilkean tone begins to emerge with the first volume of what would become The Book of Hours (most recently translated by Susan Ranson in 2008, an assortment of whose translations are included in the Selected Poems). Written after a trip to Russia in 1899 with Lou Andreas-Salomé, The Book of Monkish Life, a series of poems from the perspective of an icon-painting monk, was followed two years later by The Book of Pilgrimage. These volumes bear the stamp of Rilke's personality in their idiosyncratic conception of God as the supreme manifestation of becoming, rather than of being; Rilke presents Him not through the traditional iconography of the father, but as the son, the guarantor of futurity.

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